I’m a lover. I LOVE feeling loved and I want everyone to experience LOVE. Don’t you? (for some reason my husband thinks this is a problem. Lol!).
It might well be, because when I am experiencing any kind of conflict it really hurts my heart.
I’ve been embroiled in a conflict with someone for the past month and it all came to a head this past week.
I’m sharing the “Red Flags” and my “Insights” in the hope it will help you reflect on how your own conflicts may be “serving” you and inspire you to own your power to create resolution for yourself and experience more love.
**** Red flags are intuitive “hits”. Unfortunately, because they forewarn us, the mind has no “proof” they are accurate, so it tends to dismiss them. If we learn to pay attention to them – and address what they are alerting us to – they can powerfully serve us.
**** Insights are the new awarenesses and wisdom that come (often in hindsight) through reflection and a willingness to take 100% responsibility for your life experiences).
So here’s my experience… (it’s a long story but worth taking the time to read it)
I hired this person to do a specific project for me. They painted themselves to be an “expert”, said all the things that I wanted and needed to hear to believe. That they could help me successfully achieve a business goal I have. (Insight #1 – we are conditioned to trust “experts” and so tend not to question their “authority”, unconsciously handing over our power to them).
I happily handed full payment ($5,000) up front and signed the contract without properly reading to ensure that there was recourse for me if the deliverables were not met. (Insight #2 – When we give our power away – consciously or unconsciously – our money goes with it).
We started off with a 3 hour deep dive session in early January that had a specific objective to be met. We ran out of time and did not complete. When we pointed this out, the individual somewhat grudgingly (Red Flag #1) set another time the following week to meet again.
At the end of that session, we were thrilled by the promises made by them to deliver certain things. Our tasks and next steps were clear. We were eager to get going.
In the following weeks, however, we noticed that we had to keep asking for promised deliverables before they were sent. (Red Flag #2). On one occasion, when I asked for something that was promised, and it wasn’t sent, I didn’t receive a response but a completely different item I hadn’t asked for. I didn’t point that out — I went ahead and adapted the incorrect item myself, instead of going through the back-and-forth and waiting for the new thing. After all, we were in a hurry (Insight #3 – when we are in a rush we tend to overlook important details and ignore the red flags).
In trying to stay on top of things, keep everyone on the same page and keep the project moving forward efficiently and effectively with the tight timeline, we asked for quick weekly check in meetings. The response was that they had not planned for that and could not be accommodated in the individuals schedule. (Red Flag #3). A promise of weekly update emails was made.
I was quickly seeing that this individual was not all they had represented themself to be. I began to wonder if I they could deliver on what they had promised and if I had made a mistake in hiring them.
By week 4 instead of the weekly progress update email, we got an email from a member of the individuals team saying they had suffered a severe injury and was under strict doctors orders to be on bed rest for a week – with the Doctors note attached. We responded wishing them a speedy recovery and requested an update as soon as they were back at work the following week on how his would impact our project with its strict timelines.
I wondered if this was the Universe “giving me an out” since I didn’t feel we were aligned.
The following week, when there was no communication from them by Monday afternoon, my operations coordinator reached out via email on my behalf requesting a phone conversation that day so we could know what was happening. I was fully prepared to cut our losses and have them refund part of the payment.
Having worked in healthcare for 30 years and treated many physical injuries and from what was shared with us, I know it was highly likely they would not be “back to normal” after 1 week. I was seeking reassurance they could actually complete the job.
The response (by email) was a new timeline that only pushed the deliverable dates on certain things back by 1 day (red flag #4). The other deliverable we asked about we were informed “was not part of the agreement and was just a promise to help if they could”.
My assistant responded saying “Helen really needs to speak with you so please give her a call today.” I never got that phone call. Nor did they call any day that week. Even when they did not deliver the promised item on Thursday.
On Friday when my assistant reached out regarding the items not received, she was informed the individual was on their way to the doctor as they had been having continuing issues from the injury. None of which had been communicated to us.
I had had it! I was done.
I had a project to complete in a tight timeline and I had to make decisions to ensure the project moved ahead. This individual was clearly not the person to get it done.
There was no communication on the weekend about the missed deadline or when we might expect it given the circumstances. Angry, frustrated and stressed, I sent an email saying that I wanted to cancel the contract, citing all the things that had occurred PRIOR to the individuals head injury.
I quickly got the phone call I had been requesting a WEEK ago. I was about to go into several meetings so we agreed to speak later that day. They also sent over the item that should have been delivered the previous week and promised the rest in 3 days. (Red flag #5).
By the time we got on zoom that evening, I was sure I did not want to interact with this individual any longer. I was so enraged by their unwillingness to take responsibility.
Despite using several emotional release and energy medicine tools to release my anger, ground my energy and be in my center before we met, during the call I was triggered again and literally ended up screaming at them (Not my finest moment). Needless to say, we did not end on a good note and I left the call more enraged than ever!
Fortunately, I had a coaching session immediately following that meeting and my coach was able to help me work though my rage, get clarity on why I was so triggered and find inner peace that night.
But the next day, I found myself telling the story again and feeling angry. I knew there were more “gifts” (insights, releases) to be received from this experience.
Here they are:
- I was pissed at myself for giving them my power, not being more careful in reading the contract to see how it protected ME and ensuring I had recourse if the deliverables were not met and on time. My extreme anger was a protection against feeling this deep hurt.
- I was triggered because their manipulative behavior reminded me of being manipulated by adults as a child and how powerless (and enraged) I often felt as a result.
- I was triggered because I could see the individual was acting out of their own wounding but was unwilling or unable to see that and therefore take responsibility for their actions.
- I was triggered because the person kept blaming their injury when the issues I was addressing were occurring before it even happened.
- I was triggered because I realized that I hadn’t protected myself and I had been “irresponsible”. I had “wasted” $5,000!
- I was triggered because when I expressed my perspective and my anger and disappointment I was accused of being “unkind” and “mean” – the very things I was taught never to be.
- I was triggered because I thought I was “smarter than this”. I should have known better”.
- I was triggered because I hate being thought of as “not nice” and I hate having to “confront” someone.
- I was “projecting” when I called them manipulative for trying to use their injury as an excuse. I was trying to use their head injury as an excuse to get out of a contract with them once I realized they were not someone I wanted to work with.
Ugh! I felt such deep judgement of myself and it didn’t help when I read a FB post the day after our call where they talked about the power of kindness and how 98% of people had responded to their head injury with kindness and the other 2% (that would be me) “not so much”.
This is all learned “judgement” (Good/Bad, Right/Wrong). Every time we make ourselves “wrong” we feel bad. This person wasn’t making me feel bad. The situation wasn’t making me feel bad.
Albeit not intentionally. The thoughts and beliefs I have that shape how I interpret, react and respond to a person or situation, all reside within me, and drive my emotional state.
It is within my power to acknowledge and change them. This is how we take back our power.
Here’s what I know for sure: Everything serves. I created this experience – consciously or unconsciously – to receive the insights, releases and growth it brought.
The depth of rage I felt – and released – was already inside of me. This experience gave me an opportunity to confront and release some old wounds and limiting beliefs.
I needed help to do that.
I took time to do that.
But I did it. And so can you.
So even though it was painful, (and costly) ultimately, I am deeply grateful and my heart is once again at peace.